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What can I do if my pay is unfairly low?

The old standard of keeping your salary confidential is less respected by youth.  There seems to be an instinct for understanding that secrecy is often a symptom of dishonesty.

What can you do on discovering you accepted an unfair offer?

Reflect. What did I do Wrong?

In my 20’s I went to interviews without knowing anything about preparation and pay. The first time I interviewed for a post as an art teacher, I was so ignorant it’s embarrassing. The headmaster asked what my pay expectation was, my answer was so low his offer was higher than my number!

Not only that, my public artworks had been in the papers and he’d seen the articles. When he mentioned this during the interview, all I said was a shy ‘thanks!‘ I had no idea how to argue my worth and take advantage of his interest.

Emotional decisions

When my mom died, I remember finding a box containing her pay slips. She’d worked in retail as a saleslady, when she couldn’t take the long hours of standing anymore, she worked in the fitting rooms.

It wasn’t long after that I interviewed for the teaching position. The pay I requested was less than what my mom had earned, I recall the pay I was offered being more than what she had ever earned. I was still dealing with her death and as a result, may have subconsciously used my mom’s pay as my barometer.

How we negotiate, who we believe we are and can be are all factors that are brought to the pay discussion.

If you don’t allow facts to reduce your ignorance you are going to be exploited and taken advantage of.


Low Pay? MAKE IT GO AWAY!

  1. Take ownership, learn to negotiate

  2. Join a union

  3. Start looking for another job

  4. Unethical employers demand payslips, state upfront you are looking for an x% increase (10, 15, 30% etc) when you are unlawfully forced to hand it over

  5. Ask your employer for a raise on Thursday, you have less of a chance on Monday.

  6.  Hasta la vista baby! Leave when you have a better offer.


Don’t be ME! What I Should Have Done!

  1. Gone to the interview knowing what people get paid for the position I was applying for

  2. Researched the school and similar organisations

  3. Practiced what to say in a negotiation 

  4. Stuck to the rule and asked for more

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